Costochondral junction pain

Introduction:

Costochondritis is a common form of inflammation of the cartilage where ribs attach to the breast bone, the sternum. The inflammation can involve multiple cartilage areas on both sides of the sternum but usually is on one side only.

Causes:

The cause(s) of costochondritis is(are) not known and may involve several factors. Possible causes include heredity (genetic predisposition), viruses, and trauma (injury). Costochondritis can be an independent condition by itself or sometimes be a feature of a more widespread disorder. Examples of illnesses that can feature costochondritis include fibromyalgia, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis, reactive arthritis, and inflammatory bowel disease (such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease
Common symptoms of costochondritis may include:
  • Sudden, severe pain and soreness in the chest, usually around the breastbone.
  • Pain that increases when pressure is applied to a specific area of the breastbone where the cartilage connects the ribs.
  • Pain that increases with coughing, sneezing, or deep breathing, all of which move the cartilage or the ribs.

Treatment:

Costochondritis can be aggravated by any activity that involves stressing the structures of the front of the chest cage. It is generally best to minimize these activities until the inflammation of the rib and cartilage areas has subsided. Rest, anti-inflammatory drugs, physical therapy, and even cortisone injections have been used as therapy for the inflamed, painful cartilage of costochondritis.
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